Living Yoga Studio moves, opens in Champaign location


Living Yoga Studio’s new location at 212 S. First St. in Champaign. The studio’s new home opened on July 5 after owners Steve and Sharon Willette decided to relocate from Urbana.  

By Kayla Burns

This summer, First Street in Champaign received a new addition — Champaign’s first yoga studio. Now located at 212 S. First St. in Champaign, Living Yoga Studio’s new location opened July 5, located in Urbana for the previous five years. Owners Steve and Sharon Willette decided to make the move from their Urbana location to their new location in Champaign when their old lease ended.  “We’re excited to be here in Champaign, and can’t wait to see what is to come moving forward,” said Sharon.

The studio’s new home is a brick building that previously housed a painter’s union. Inside the studio, the walls are painted a warm yellow and are decorated with artwork that Steve and Sharon either personally picked or was donated to the studio from friends.

Steve and Sharon grew up in Illinois and met at Indiana University while they were both undergraduates. From there, the pair moved to Houston where they worked as teachers for a year.  

“We learned a lot from teaching in Houston,” Steve said. “It was deep in the inner city, and we signed a one-year contract.”

From there, they moved back to Champaign, and haven’t taught as school teachers since.

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Once back in Champaign, they began working for Sharon’s family business, which was the distribution of wine, beer and liquor.

“At the time, that whole business was family business.  It was a great business, where shaking a hand meant something.  It was a pretty male-dominated business and women weren’t really in the business,” Steve said. “At the time, there were 52 distributors.  Now, there are about 12 in the nation, because it was all consolidated, so Sharon’s family is no longer in that business.”

Sharon said that she and her husband have been “long time yogis,” and that Steve has been teaching yoga for 16 years now. 

“We practiced with Deb Lister, who was the previous owner of the Living Yoga Center, so when she decided to retire, we took the studio over from her,” she said.

The studio currently holds daily classes and offers a variety of different types of classes. The studio employs 16 teachers who have been with the studio for a variety of years.

Classes cost $15 per session, and the studio also offers monthly and yearly passes.  

“We have classes for all skill levels,” said Steve. “Anyone who wants to start practicing, can.”

The studio also hosts special events throughout the year.

Kayla can be reached at [email protected].